Search continues at Surfside building collapse site; death toll remains at 22 while 126 remain unaccounted for
The fear of pending weather could have an impact on the rescue crews that have been working around the clock in Surfside following the collapse of the Champlain Towers South.
A massive pile of debris still sits at the site as Hurricane Elsa continues moving closer to the Florida peninsula, but another concern is the still standing structure and just how stable and safe it is.
On Friday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said what’s left of the building will have to come down.
“The building poses a threat to public health and safety, and bringing it down as quickly as possible is critical to protect our community,” said Levine Cava.
The mayor said she is signing off on the structure’s demolition, but it’s unclear just how soon that will happen.
County officials may wait for the search and rescue mission and the recovery of all victims to conclude before they bring it down.
The mayor said it won’t be any time soon.
“We cannot move swiftly to demolish this building,” she said. “It cannot be before the storm.”
That storm is Hurricane Elsa, which is expected to begin impacting South Florida sometime Monday.
For now, crews will continue to work around the clock until they are forced to stop.
“We are monitoring the storm very closely,” said Levine Cava. “Depending on the strength of the wind and the path, we’ll make that determination,”
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Alan Cominsky said the work remains very dangerous and there is still plenty of ground cover.
“Unfortunately we haven’t been able to expand our search zones do to the high concerns with the building’s structure,” he said.
HOW TO HELP: Here’s a list of resources to support those impacted by building collapse More about the victims identified Photos: Loved ones name those they say are missing Photos: Search-and-rescue teams in action Hotline and wellness form for residents and families